Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How To Apply For A China Tourist Visa in The Philippines

Great Wall of China, here I come! Okay, not so fast. Why? Because the Chinese Embassy says so. But the ugly reality of visa hassles cannot kill the travel bug. A little patience will get you far, literally.

chinesevisa

All visitors to China require a visa except for citizens from Brunei, Japan and Singapore. A Chinese visa covers almost the entire country. Almost because in some restricted areas like Tibet, an additional permit is required.

There are eight categories of visas:

C - flight attendant
D - resident
F - business or student visa
G - transit
J - journalist
L - travel
X - long-term student
Z - working

For this article, we're mainly going to focus on the L or tourist visa. For Filipinos, it is best (if not required) to apply before leaving the Philippines. Some borders (and also Hong Kong) can process visas, yes, but policies may change without prior notice.

L/Tourist Visa Requirement for First-Timers (Filipinos):

1. Passport, also a photocopy of the bio (first) page and last page (with details of contact person in case of emergency). And oh, passort must have blank pages and at least 6 months valid before expiration.
2. Roundtrip plane ticket (if not coming back to the Philippines, must present an onward flight ticket)
3. Hotel booking or letter of invitation (from friend or relative living in China)
4. NBI Clearance, original copy, valid for travel abroad
5. SSS ID or E-1 or static information or contributions info (may be a print out from SSS online)
6. TIN ID or ITR
7. Bank certificate, should have at least 50k
8. Certificate of Employment
9. Accomplished visa application form (to be provided at the embassy) affixed with one passport-sized photo.

Update July 19, 2012:

On our recent embassy visit, the new requirements for first time applicants (paying for own travel expenses) are as follows:

1. Latest ITR with BIR-received stamp and issued for the last taxable year (original and photocopy).
2. Original bank certificate, account (current or savings) should be opened 6 months prior to applying for the visa. Account should have an average daily balance AND to-date/current balance of at least P100,000 per applicant (18 years old and above).

In addition to the bank certificate, submit the following supporting documents:

a) Statement of accounts detailing transactions for 6 months prior to applying for visa (original and photocopy of all pages).
b) Or passbook detailing transactions for 6 months prior to applying for visa (original and photocopy of all pages).

If you've already been provided a visa before (or a citizen from Australia, Canada, EU, New Zealand or U.S.A), you may just submit: passport (with photocopies), accomplished visa application form with photo, plane ticket, and hotel booking. Your passport must have the old Chinese Visa sticker, otherwise, you'll be considered a first timer and you must submit all the other requirements.

If you cannot provide a certificate of employment, the bank certificate will do. Or bring an old COE. I was (and still am) unemployed when I applied for the Chinese visa, so I submitted an old U.A.E. work visa to prove that I was an OFW and am currently on vacation.

Do not rely on the embassy's website. It may not be updated.

Where to apply:

World Center (2nd & 3rd Floor), 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Just ask at the reception where the Chinese Embassy is, and they will point which direction the stairs to the 2nd floor is located.

chinesevisa2

Taken from Google Maps. Aerial photograph of the building and nearby landmarks here.

Be early. Really early. Although the embassy's office hours run from 9AM-12NN and 1PM-3PM, they only accept applicants until 11AM. And it's highly likely that there would be 100 people on queue before your turn. You'll be given a number, so you may go in and out the embassy for a snack or a drag break.

When your number's called (or flashed on the digital screen), you proceed to the visa counter and submit the documents. The assessor may peruse the requirements without saying a word. If you lack any, he/she will say so right then and there (or they'll call you within the day). You will then be provided the pink slip, which is the claim stub (if approved) for you to present when you come back after 4 working days.

Visa fees (regular processing) are as follows:
Philippines Passport P1,400
U.S.A. Passport P2,500
Other foreign passports P1,700

Visa must be used within 3 months of the date of issue (this is indicated on the visa sticker), and is good for 30 days from date you enter China. Penalty for overstaying is up to Y500 a day.

If you don't want to deal with the embassy, there are numerous travel agencies that offer visa assistance. In Malate and Ermita, most agencies charge P1,500-P3,000 on top of the actual visa fee. Agencies in Makati charge cheaper because the embassy's just within the area.

My (unpaid) recommendation, The Flight Shop. Truth is, we asked for visa assistance because I lacked SSS ID/E-1 and certificate of employment. They charge an affordable P500 service fee. If interested, you may visit them at 2nd Floor Bankmer Building, 6756 Ayala Avenue Makati. Or call +632 8131951. It's just across Makati Stock Exchange. McDonald's is in the same building.

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235 comments:

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Anonymous said...
October 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Hi! Same question as posted above. If anyone has experienced submitting an Invitation Letter from an Authorized Travel Agency in China and if it was enough for you not to supply ITR and bank certs anymore? Hope someone could help on this! Thanks!

may.c said...
October 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Hello. I have a huge dillema. To make long story short, I sbmitted my requirements to an incompetent travel agency. I am flyong november 7 next week and they returned my stuff to me earloer today saying I have insufficient requirements.

I am thinkong now of going there monday to apply for nyself. I have the option of applying as a student or a businesswoman. I am going there for a china convention. Could youbplease give me advice if which proesses faster. I have 2 days :( counting monday. Hope to get some wisdom from u. Baka makahabol pa ako.please let me know. macylazaro@gmail.com

Anonymous said...
November 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Hello. We are planning to go to Guangzhou (first time in China) for training. China Embassy in Manila will not issue our visas and had our employer (in Manila) send our passports to China for visa processing there by the company who invited us. Is this a usual procedure? It's the first time i have experienced this. Hope to hear your reply soonest. Thanks very much in advance.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
November 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

It's the first time I've heard about this. China Embassy should be able to process your visa, that's one of their purposes of being established in the Phil. Could be a special case?

JeffZ said...
November 21, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Very helpful tips gay!.. All I have to do now is to secure at least 100K in my account haha! kainis na mga VISA-requiring countries yan!... lol

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
November 22, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Haha! Yun lang :(

jersey said...
November 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM

hi,

if my bank daily average balance for the past six months will be less than the required P100k, for its just around P50k on the first 1 month then more than P100k on the remaining 5 months, will my visa application be denied? can i show certification for my stock market investment as an additional docs to show that my other money is invested and not retained in the bank?

please advise. thank you

Anonymous said...
December 9, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Hi. I am an OFW in the middle east and am planning to apply for a chinese visa in my workplace.However, one of their embassy's requirement is an "Introduction letter of my work unit" which basically should state my personal info, purpose of visit and a so called "statement of responsibility". Do you by any chance knew what they meant by that or how I would present it? Also, what exactly does an average daily balance means?

Thanks! I appreciate your blogs.

Anonymous said...
December 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Hi! What happnd to you application? I have the same problem. Did u find an agency who could help you? Pls pls reply. Btw, my email is jhonas_187@yahoo.com thank you :)

mariow said...
December 12, 2012 at 2:18 AM

hi there, i did a most stupidiest thing on my passport! haha nilagay ko SARILI kong pangalan sa likod ng passport ko (in case of emergency, pls contact:..) after ko masulat yung name ko, dun ko lng napansin na ang stupid ko! mygod! mag kaka problema ba kaya ako dun? KHIT KUMPLETO naman requirements ko? :) thanks in advance

tricia said...
January 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Hello.
My mom wants to visit China this summer with me and my sisters but I'm unemployed and have no bank account. I however have a time deposit, is that okay? We're all first time applicants and we have no friends/relatives to send us an Invitation letter. Can we still apply? I'm afraid that If we book our flights and hotel before applying for visa, the embassy might deny us of tourist visas. Thank You!

miko dee said...
January 3, 2013 at 4:44 AM

Hey,i took your advice of taking flight shop for the china visa. i worked like awesome. they processed ours docs the day after we sent it and after a exactly a week we got it.

it got approved. and experienced the snow for the first time atop the great wall of china. it was 12/12/12 in the afternoon then.

thank you.

Anonymous said...
January 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I am visiting Manila and plan to go to Shanghai for few days. Can I apply for china visa from Manila ? I am a US citizen. Thanks

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 7, 2013 at 4:15 PM

They might ask you to apply for the visa in your homecountry.

disqus_GagBB1mxOp said...
February 5, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Hi! I've been working in Sh for six months and want to invite my son who is five years old and he'll be accompanied by my mother. He's illegitimate so I requested for a red ribbon from the Phil embassy in China. I will courier the red ribbon and other docs one of these days. Do you happen to know what other necessary docs I should send? Is the Chinese consulate strict when it comes to the bank statement? I've got a bank statement but it doesn't have the daily allowance of 100k. Though, I am able to provide all the certs and docs related to my job just to prove that I have got a stable one here in China. I will appreciate if you reply. Thank you!

Gay Emami said...
February 5, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Your mother and son need a sponsorship letter from you since you're their host in China. Not sure if they'll still be required of the bank statement.

Ana said...
February 6, 2013 at 2:49 AM

hi po..tga mindanao po ako..sabi kc ng friend ko pwede raw process ung chinese tourist visa sa manila..kahit na hndi na raw ako kailangan pumunta pa ng manila for processing..???bali ipapadala nlng daw yung passport ko manila? at bali invite lng po ako ng friend ko sa China..i think hndi ko na kailangan yung bank certificate at itr..may apartment po sya dun then sya po lahat2 sa pagkain..lahat2 po..sana po matulongan nyo ako..

Ana said...
February 6, 2013 at 2:58 AM

matagal din po ba mag process po ng chinese tourist visa?

disqus_GagBB1mxOp said...
February 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM

hi! DO you know why the Chinese embassy ask for a copy of a diploma and transcript of record for Z visa?

xten said...
February 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Good day.
ask ko lng po kng required pa rn ba ung current bank balance na 100k if i was invited as speaker on an even at dalian china?please i need an answer soon, thank you

Suki Masian said...
April 7, 2013 at 11:52 PM

goos evening.ask q po kung magkano ang 1 year visa sa ghina thanks po,

Suki Masian said...
April 7, 2013 at 11:54 PM

matagal po ba ang process ng china visa ?how many days po ?

Tet Semillano said...
May 9, 2013 at 10:52 AM

hi im teresa i go to china as tourist,,, at the same time we plan to fly to japan as a tourist as wel,, can i apply japan visa in china? tnx

Tet Semillano said...
May 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

what documents required ,?tnx

Gay Emami said...
May 9, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I think you're advised to apply in the Philippines as well for the Japan visa.

ayen sphinx said...
May 21, 2013 at 9:48 AM

plano kung mamasyal sa Beijing December or March next year. Kaya lang concern ko yong 'dispute" between China & Phils. Wala kayang effect yong sa mga Filipino travelers dun?

Gay Emami said...
May 21, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Shouldn't be a prob :) Especially you bring in business for them. Just avoid talking about politics, I guess.

Des said...
October 24, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Hi, is a Taiwan visa, considered as Chinese visa? 'Cause I have it, I might be categorizezed as a non-first timer.

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
October 25, 2013 at 8:09 AM

They're different applications, Des.

travel-agcy.blogspot.com said...
November 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Very useful tips, packing is always very important one whenever you are going to travel. This tips will be very helpful for packing your stuffs. Thanks for sharing this here with us Online Travel Agencies

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April 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

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Karen Swann said...
April 29, 2014 at 6:33 PM

kuya pake sagot yung tanong ko kasi next month may oupounta ako ng china... completo nmn po ako ang problema ko lang eh yung ITR.. its ben 7 years na hindi ako nka pag work sa pilipinas... so wala akung record sa present. kc nag aabroad ako at tumira sa singapore with my fiance... may apekto po ba kung yung ipapasa kung ITR EH yung last job ko pa sa SM 2007 pa:) thank u... makak
apekto po bayon

Karen Swann said...
April 29, 2014 at 6:37 PM

hi po... pake sagot nmn po ng tanong ko next month na po kasi ako balak pumunta ng china,.,, completo nmn po ako sa requirements... ang pinuproblema ko yung ITR ko....... matagal n akung hindi ng wowork dito sa pinas ... 2006 pa.. ang ITR KO.. yun kc ang last work ko dito eh since then ng aabroad n ako paano yan mkakaapekto po bayan sa pag kuha ko ng visa,,, kc yung itr ko matagal na thank u....

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vilma said...
June 29, 2014 at 11:33 AM

hi good morning po ask ko lng po sana kng pwede invitation letter lng po ang ipakita ko for tourist in china?galing na din ako sa hongkong for 6 years,travel na din ako ng macau,kasi ala po akong bank account and itr sss member din po ako pero d na po sya active ano po b dapat kong gawin para makakuha ng simple tourist visa thank u po have a gud day

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